After inheriting the flame world, our team have been focused on trying to cut down all previous teams’ concepts so that we had a definite understanding of the world and refocus the story. We noticed that the previous teams had spent too much time focusing on creatures and constantly changing the environments, meaning we made the pragmatic decision to ignore certain designs and keep everything coherent, but at the same time trying to incorporate everything.
One thing missing from the world was an opening shot or the context of the world existence. To contextualise this ourself, our team went out and bought a box of matches and lit one to get an idea from how ignition occurs. But in between that, the matchbox gave me an idea to work on with the team. We discussed how the match is lit in the first place and began to throw out various situations that could be occurring at the same time. An interesting setup I draw was a noir setting – low key lighting, venetian blinds and smoke everywhere from the constant chain smoking conventional to a noir character. The black and white was a great quirk that could be played with alongside the intensity of light. I composed an shot of a conventional gangster based on the reference of a student I saw in the distance using a pen to determine scale before drawing. The character goes to light a match only to find the flame is much brighter than anticipated, which was represented by the light giving colour to the black and white world. The idea of the image is that the audience keep focus on the character’s eyeline and by framing the match on the right of the frame, the matchstick stands out, allowing the camera to track towards it as an extreme close up before entering the world. The lighting around the flame exists to give the metaphor of a tunnel as if to invite the viewer into the world. The fact the story goes towards the flame means the noir setting becomes a red herring as a situation they never see unfolds.
Moving towards the world further, I began to think of extreme close ups from the perspective of the matchstick in the box. Playing with symbolism and foreshadowing, I found myself using colour and composition to transition two events. The first shot sees a small glimmer of light protruding through the matchstick box, creating sharp rays of yellow light while leaving complete darkness and sharp black lights which creates a foreshadow to the aftermath of the world’s destruction. As the box opens, the aperture changes as the yellow transitions on to the matchsticks to foreshadow the world before the flame arrives. Thus in this one shot, the lighting and colour symbolise the world the viewer enters before the match has even been chosen.
The image of a creature trying to cradle a flake of flame to keep everything alight as the coldness comes. This close up exists as a way to give an emotional sympathy to the creatures, by showing the importance of the flame, despite it destroying the world.